I spoke about the Theory of White Privilege Fragility during last year’s #BlackBlogsMatter challenge.
I made fun of it and got into some interesting conversations online and offline as a result. Mostly with White people who were triggered by me making fun of their fragility and chose to argue with me because of it … which was ironic and cool because that’s exactly what the theory says will happen when a person’s privilege fragility is triggered, thus proving the theory as true.
I also heard from Black people, Women and other People of Color who felt I didn’t do enough to talk about what White people can do to deal with their privilege fragility. This too was ironic and cool because it is exactly what the theory says White people want us to do in order to avoid having their privilege fragility triggered, again proving the theory as true.
As the group in power and with power, it is on White people to do the work to check their privilege and all the supremacist attitudes and fragility triggers that go along with it. Black people, Women, People of Color and any other group are NOT responsible to sugarcoat thoughts, opinions, the recounts of their experiences, feedback or requests in order to make easier for White people to handle. Shrinking and editing this way is a form of enabling, which we all agree is very very bad and unacceptable.
I’m not here to tell White people or anyone else in a privileged place what to do to be more comfortable when triggered and uncomfortable while the Woke among us are out here trying and dying to dismantle supremacy and patriarchy.
Nope. Not gonna do it. And I will never encourage anyone else to give this kind of advice as it helps nothing.
What I will tell White people and anyone else in a privileged place is what NOT to do when the fragility of their privilege is triggered:
I could keep going but I think you get the gist.
If you were born White, it is not your fault and neither is the privilege that comes from it. No one expects you to feel bad or apologize for it. However, it is your responsibility to recognize your privilege and use it to help people who have less privilege and opportunity than you. It is your responsibility to cultivate awareness of the impact your bias has on others and to check yourself at every opportunity. It is your responsibility to stop seeking to be coddled and be willing to be uncomfortable in order to learn, un-learn and re-learn.
Just know that the Woke work and the people doing it will not wait for you to get on board or catch up. Progress will continue, with or without you.
White Privilege is still fragile. But you don’t have to be.